Private Hire Driver's Licences

A licence is required before any person can drive a hackney carriage (taxi). A Hackney Carriage is defined as a licensed vehicle that can ply for hire on authorised taxi ranks and can be flagged down in the street.


Before a licence is granted the applicant must satisfy the Council that:

  • he/she is a fit and proper person to hold a licence;
  • he/she is medically fit;
  • he/she has attained the age of 21 years;
  • he/she has held a full driver's licence (not a provisional licence) granted to the applicant under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1972 authorising him/her to drive a motor car for at least twelve months prior to the date of the application;
  • he/she can demonstrate adequate knowledge of the local area;
  • he/she has the right to work in the UK

New applicants are required to pass a taxi driving assessment with the Blue Lamp Trust. Information for the Blue Lamp Trust can be found on www.bluelamptrust.org.uk and click on ‘Driver Training’, ‘Business Driver Training’, ‘Taxi Driver Assessments’.

Once the application form has been completed, you need to make an appointment to visit our Offices, bringing with you the following documentation:

  • the completed application form
  • your DVLA Driving Licence (original - not a photocopy)
  • your passport or birth certificate
  • your National Insurance number
  • two utility bills issued in the last 3 months as proof of your address
  • fees - currently £112 initial fee*, renewal £83. Plus £44 for DBS check.

* Please note, initial application fees must be paid by credit/debit card or cash.

Applications will not be accepted without production of the above.

How to Apply

Please contact the Licensing office on the contact details below to make an appointment to see a Licensing Officer to start the application process. Upon production of the forms at the licensing office, you will be asked to complete a form to enable us to check with the Discolsure and Barrign Service (DBS) for any records held against you. You will also be asked to complete a DVLA form to ensure that the driving licence you produce is the most recent issued and that there are no current motoring convictions on your licence. Please be aware that we normally allow approximately up to 8 weeks from receipt of your application for return of these checks as this is the average time that they take.

Applicants who were born outside the UK and have lived in the UK for less then 10 years will also be required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct from their embassy or home country.

All applicants will be required to provide identification to show their right to work in the UK. In some cases a person’s status will be verified with the Home Office.

Once your application has been accepted and the fee has been paid, an appointment will be made for you to sit a test of local knowledge of the area. The knowledge tests are held on one date per month, usually the last Thursday of the month.

Please note: If an applicant has not fulfilled all of the above criteria within 12 months of submitting their application, the application shall be refused.

Knowledge Test

As stated above, the knowledge tests are held on one date per month, usually the last Thursday of the month. Please note that when being asked to describe a route it must be the shortest route, not using the motorway.

If you fail the test three times, you will have to wait a period of no less than 6 months from the date of the third test before taking another test. All re-tests will incur a fee of £29.

The knowledge test is an electronic test and is made up from multiple choice questions in 9 categories. The categories are as follows:

1. Identify missing roads from routes within Winchester – you must name a missing road following the shortest route within Winchester, e.g. what road is missing from the following shortest route when driving from The Broadway to Simonds Court? The Broadway, High Street, Eastgate Street, Friarsgate, Upper Brook Street, and St George's Street, Jewry Street, ______ , Worthy Road, Russell Road , Chaundler Road.

2. Identify buildings that you would pass on a route – you must name the road that particular buildings may be found on, e.g. Which road is the Winchester Police Station on when driving the shortest route from Winchester Kebab House to Thurmond Crescent?

3. Identify missing roads from routes in the surrounding district – starting at Winchester train station you will need to identify the missing road following the shortest route to a destination in the surrounding Winchester district, e.g. What road is missing from the following shortest route when driving from Winchester Railway Station to West Meon? Station Road, Station Hill, City Road, North Walls, Union Street, Eastgate Street, High Street, Bridge St, Magdalen Hill, Alresford Road, A31 Petersfield Road, A272, South Downs Way, Wheely Down Road, _______, Church Lane, West Meon.

4. Identify where buildings are located – you will need to be able to identify the roads that certain buildings are located on, e.g. which road is Twyford Surgery on?

5. Identify which is the correct route – you will need to identify the shortest route between two named destinations, e.g. which is the shortest route from Peter Symonds College to The Royal Hampshire County Hospital?

6. Identify the location at the end of the route (for the City centre, Littleton and Kings Worthy) – starting at Winchester train station you will need to identify the road in the City you would arrive in when following a route described, e.g. What will be the destination when you start a journey at Winchester Railway Station, and follow the route: Station Road, Gladstone Street, Sussex Street, Romsey Road, St James' Lane, St Cross Road, St Swithun Street, Symonds Street, Great Minster Street, and turn right?

7. Identify the location at the end of the route (for the surrounding district) – starting at Winchester train station you will need to identify the area of the district you would arrive in when following a route described, e.g. Which village will you arrive at when you start a journey at Winchester Railway Station, and follow the route: Station Road, Gladstone Street, Sussex Street, Andover Road, Andover Road North, Christmas Hill, Downs Road, Wrights Close, first left?

8. Numeracy – you will need to be able to calculate how much change a passenger would receive, or how much a fare would be, e.g. the fare on the taximeter amounts to £6.20, the passenger gives you £10. How much change should you give them?

9. Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policy and conditions / legislation – you will need to be familiar with the current Council Policy and Conditions of licence as well as the relevant legislation for Taxi licensing, e.g. what is the minimum legal limit for tyre tread depth?

For each question there will be 4 possible answers and you will need to choose one answer from all the options available. You will need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the roads and buildings in the Winchester district (including the City centre, Littleton and Kings Worthy, and the surrounding district) that a customer may ask you to take them to. Examples of buildings are, churches, schools, wedding venues, conference venues, pubs, historic landmarks etc. All applicants should familiarise themselves with the legislation under Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, Part II, as well as the Council’s current Policy and conditions of licence.

Copies of the current Policy and conditions of licence and a map of the district can be found below.

You must bring your DVLA driving licence with you when you attend the test as you will need this as identification and to log into the test. You will be unable to take the test without this.

The pass mark is 80% in each section to pass the test. If, for example, you get 80% in 7 of the sections and you gained 70% in 2 of the sections, then you will have failed the test.

Once you have successfully passed the knowledge test and met all of the criteria for the above to become a licenced driver, you will be required to have a driving knowledge test with a Licensing Officer to satisfy the Council that you are a competent driver and you have the knowledge of the City whilst you are driving.

If you have any difficulty with any of the forms or have any questions, please contact us by email licensing@winchester.gov.uk or telephone 01962 848 188 or 848 179.